Looking for summer fun? There is nothing like visiting water parks in Tennessee with your family during a hot summer! The humidity is thick, the days are long, and the water slides are inviting.
While most people correlate a good trip to Tennessee with a music-themed visit to Nashville or a nature enjoying jaunt to the Smoky Mountains, Tennessee is also home to some fun and impressive water parks that make for great family outings!
The best part? A lot of these Tennessee water parks offer something unique that makes them stand out.
For instance, there are water parks that offer year-round fun! I can’t think of anything that brings more joy to my children’s faces than when it’s the dead of winter and I tell them to go grab their swimsuit because we are headed to an indoor water park!
I also tend to be a bit of a water park snob, as I spent summers going to some of the biggest and best water parks California has to offer. But because of that, I can honestly say that all of these I would drive six hours for in a heartbeat.
So grab your towels, your sunscreen, and your goggles as we explore the thrills, slides, and best lazy rivers that Tennessee has to offer!
Depending on the time of year, Wilderness At The Smokies rivals Dollywood Splash Country as my favorite water park in Tennessee. This is one of those year-round use water parks within an indoor pool that makes for a great weekend getaway in January when everyone is going stir crazy!
Wilderness at the Smokies actually has three water parks on the resort property! It features two outdoor water parks and is also home to Tennessee’s largest indoor waterpark — Wild WaterDome.
A reason we love Wilderness At The Smokies so much is there is a wide variety of accommodation options — from condos with kitchens and separate living and sleeping areas, to resort-style plush guest rooms, to large family suites with bunk beds.
For days when you really don’t feel like getting wet or you have had your fill of water fun for the day, the resort features a family fun gaming center called the Adventure Forest. The activity center has an arcade, indoor three-story ropes course, laser tag, black light miniature golf, and an indoor playground for children with a toddler play area.
We also love that Wilderness At The Smokies has many different dining options, discount Homeschool days, and is very family-oriented.
Tennessee’s newest water park made a splash onto the scene in 2020 — Soaky Mountain Waterpark in Sevierville is a perfect family getaway!
This new water park offers thrilling rides that you’ve never seen before — like the Avalaunch! The Avalaunch is a first-of-its kind watercoaster with four flying saucer features that create a drop-and-dive sensation. You’ll also find The Soaky Surge — a 35,000 square foot wave pool with waves up to 6 feet high. If you’re looking for raft rides, the Black Bear Rapids is an adventure river that encompasses 24,000 square feet. And The Hive is a bee-themed play area for kids that offers water features and hands-on activites.
There’s also a fun pool area for kids that offers smaller versions of the adult-sized slides on the property, so they can feel the excitement too. How cute is that?!
There are so many water slides, raft rides, body slides, and racing slides — I guarantee you’ll never run out of fun things to do here.
Food-wise, this property is offering some fun food trucks throughout the water park. Mac and cheese with unique toppings? Yes, please!
If you are looking for a true and authentic Tennessee water park experience, then Dollywood Splash Country is just the ticket! It’s definitely your typical water park, but with its own Tennessee twist.
Dollywood Splash Country is nestled into the natural surroundings of the beautiful majestic Smoky Mountains. As you float down the lazy river, or jump waves in the wave pool, it’s easy to close your eyes and imagine you are floating through the rivers and hills as the natural mountain landscape envelops you.
On the flip side, Splash Country is also home to some of the most cutting edge and unique water slides. It’s home to a fun “watercoaster” — RiverRush — which takes you into the trees up to three stories high before you go sliding and splashing through tunnels and drops.
As much as we love Dollywood Splash Country, it does get crowded in the summer and at times the lines move slowly. We have taken advantage of their TimeSaver passes and genuinely recommend them to those who would like to enjoy more rides with less wait time.
You may also consider staying at nearby DreamMore Resort, as there is a back entrance into Splash Country right across the street. The DreamMore Resort also has its own amazing pools and splash pad. If you visit often, a season pass might be worth the money!
With an excellent location next to Percy Priest Lake, Nashville Shores is the perfect retreat to escape the heat! Nashville Shores is a local favorite, and is a fun and exhilarating water park with a lot to offer.
The park has eight water slides, a wave pool, a lazy river, and the famous Kowabunga Beach! Kowabunga Beach is a 4-story water play structure with over 70 different water spray features and slides.
For little visitors, Barefootin’ Bay is perfect because it’s a smaller play structure with slides and water spray features.
One thing we absolutely love about the resort is that there is a campground on the property! Extend your stay for a fun family getaway, or even larger multi-family reunions. Cabins are also available to rent, and there are 84 RV sites with full hook-ups.
If you stay in the cabins or rent an RV site there are water park discounts available. For days that you just want to take a break from the water, Treetop Adventure Park is also located inside Nashville Shores Resort Park. The adventure park has over 100 obstacle courses ranging from zip lines and suspended bridges, to Tarzan swings.
LAKE WINNIE SOAK YA
Lake Winnie is one of the best family amusement parks — in Georgia! Wait, what? I thought this was a Tennessee article! This water park is so close to the Tennessee line, that although technically in Georgia, they advertise themselves as a Tennessee park too.
This combination amusement park and water park has been winning the hearts of families for over ninety years. Soak Ya is the water park that is located within the Lake Winnie amusement park just outside of Chattanooga, TN at Lake Winnepesaukah.
Visitors can spend the morning riding amusement park rides and then when it gets a little too hot, visit SOAK YA to cool down and enjoy the water. The park features a large lazy river and wave pool, along with a variety of tube slides and a toddler splashing area.
Families really enjoy the relaxed atmosphere that Lake Winnie and SOAK YA have to offer, and many guests who visit have been coming with their parents and grandparents for years.
Life vests are available for guests for free of charge. In order to get the most out of both parks, there are locker rentals and changing and showering areas, so you can re-enter the amusement park at your convenience.
For those looking for a less expensive option in the Nashville area, Wave Country will be a great choice. Families love this city-run water park in Tennessee that features a large wave pool, multiple slides, and a kiddie splash area.
There is plenty of parking at Wave Country, and the admission price is considerably less than other water parks listed.
Get there early to get a spot in the shade and don’t forget to pack a picnic to enjoy after playing in the waves! Wave Country allows guests to bring their own food, which is an awesome perk. For those who would rather pack light, the on-site snack bar is well stocked and affordable.
An important thing to note is that while tubes are plentiful and provided free of charge for the wave pool, there are no lounge chairs or seating options available. Guests and visitors are encouraged to bring their own chairs, blankets, and floats.
The waterpark is clean and the staff is helpful, making this one of the top Tennessee water park picks.
Jonesborough, Tennessee is a smaller town located just east of Johnson City. This town is home to one of the cleanest, nicest, and family-friendly water parks in Tennessee. You may not find all the high speed exciting thrill rides here like you would at some of the bigger water parks, but you will find a friendly staff, clean facilities, and a relaxed family day at the pool.
Wetlands Water Park features many slides for all members of the family, including some for even the youngest in your party. Attractions in the park include a long lazy river, a zero-depth wading area, tumble buckets, a children’s otter slide, and plenty of other areas to splash and play for the whole family.
There are a limited amount of deck and lounge chairs available, but you are welcome to bring blankets and stretch out on the lawn in the shade here.
If you want a break from the water, this park also offers sand volleyball courts! You’re welcome to bring your own tubes here, or they offer some to rent for a small fee.
Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort Wild Bear Falls in Gatlinburg is an indoor water park that is available to resort guests as well as outside guests year-round. One of the most unique features about Wild Bear Falls is its retractable roof. In the summer months guests can enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, and in the winter guests can enjoy a climate-controlled play area.
Wild Bear Falls features a lazy river, a large open swimming area, water slides, hot tubs, and splash areas with play structures. A full snack bar is available onsite, which can be a welcome respite after working up an appetite playing!
The locker and shower facilities are very roomy and clean and the staff is nice and welcoming. Life vests are available for free upon request. This popular park sometimes reaches capacity, so make sure to get there early!
One of our favorite features about Wild Bear Falls is the relaxing mountain atmosphere. Inside the park you won’t find your usual plastic, pool lounge chairs. Instead you’ll find nice, comfortable wooden loungers and wooden swings. We also love the two-story seating for more ways to relax and enjoy the day.
The ability to visit Tennessee and enjoy some quality water thrills with your family makes Tennessee one of the best destinations for water park fun. If you are an avid lover of water parks, then you can see why Tennessee needs to be on your list for your next water family getaway.
With some of the most top-rated water parks in the country, beautiful natural scenery, and great attractions and restaurants, it’s easy to see why Tennessee is a hot vacation spot in the summer.
Where is your favorite water park in Tennessee to visit?
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